Who Is Julian Assange?

Who Is Julian Assange?

Recently, the Australian computer programmer, Julian Assange was denied bail by the UK court. Let’s take a look into his life and career along with why he was denied bail.

Crux of the Matter

Who Is He?
Born on July 3, 1971, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, Assange is an Australian computer programmer who founded the media organization WikiLeaks. He calls his practice “scientific journalism” i.e., providing primary source materials with a minimum of editorial commentary.

He has released thousands of internal or classified documents from an assortment of government and corporate entities through WikiLeaks. As a teenager, he infiltrated a number of secure systems, including those at NASA and the Pentagon, under the nickname “Mendax”.

  • September 1991: He was discovered hacking into the Melbourne master terminal of Nortel, a Canadian multinational telecommunications corporation. Later charged with 31 counts of cybercrime – pleaded guilty to most of them.
  • 1993: Assange gave technical advice to the Victoria Police Child Exploitation Unit that assisted in prosecutions.
  • He was also involved in starting Suburbia Public Access Network, one of the first public Internet service providers in Australia.
  • He began programming in 1994.
  • In 1995 he co-authored the TCP port ‘Scanner Strobe’ which he patched to the open-source database PostgreSQL, the Usenet caching software NNTPCache in 1996.
  • In 1997, he created Rubberhose, a deniable encryption system.
  • In 2000, he created Surfraw, a command-line interface for web-based search engines.
  • October 2006: Assange created WikiLeaks to serve as a clearinghouse for sensitive or classified documents.
  • December 2006: The first post was a message from a Somali rebel leader encouraging the use of hired gunmen to assassinate government officials.

Why Is He On Trial?

  • 2010: WikiLeaks posted almost half a million documents obtained from US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning (later called Chelsea Manning) mainly relating to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • November 2010: WikiLeaks began publishing an estimated 250,000 confidential US diplomatic cables.
  • Classified documents dated mostly from 2007 to 2010, but they included some dating back as far as 1966.
  • Assange is facing a litany of charges in the US, including conspiracy to hack US government computers and breaching the Espionage Act.
  • He has been imprisoned in the UK since April 2019.
  • In January 2021 a UK judge refused US’ request to extradite him and deemed him at risk of suicide and self-harm.

Read about the details of his trial here: WikiLeaks Co-Founder Assange Facing Court Trial In UK

Curiopedia
  • The United States diplomatic cables leak, widely known as Cablegate, began on Sunday, 28 November 2010 when WikiLeaks began releasing classified cables that had been sent to the U.S. State Department by 274 of its consulates, embassies, and diplomatic missions around the world. Dated between December 1966 and February 2010, the cables contain diplomatic analysis from world leaders, and the diplomats’ assessment of host countries and their officials.
  • A wiki is a hypertext publication collaboratively edited and managed by its own audience directly using a web browser. WikiLeaks was originally established with a “wiki” communal publication method, which was terminated by May 2010.
  • The Fifth Estate is a 2013 biographical thriller film directed by Bill Condon, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

WikiLeaks Co-Founder Assange Facing Court Trial in UK

Assange

Julian Assange is under trial in the UK court for the allegation of leaking sensitive and classified information through WikiLeaks. USA is seeking Assange’s extradition.

Crux of the Matter

US Keen on Extraditing Assange
Julian Assange has been accused of unlawfully publishing the sources of classified documents of US Government. Due to the release of the sources, people connected with US government are at the stack of danger because it contained sensitive information consisting of military operations and security, which could have been misused. Further, he is accused of hacking US government computers and espionage for 18 times with the help of Former Army intelligence analyst Mr. Chelsea Manning. He was initially charged in the year 2010 for breaking into the military computer, leaking reports and data about Afghanistan and Iraq.

What’s the Deal About These Sensitive Documents?
The list of classified documents published on the WikiLeaks is quite long. Documents were related to the US Army manual for soldiers dealing with prisoners at Camp Delta, gunship video killing civilians in Iraq in 2007. More than 90,000 classified documents were relating to the Afghanistan war consisting of every information from Osama Bin Laden to Afghan civilian deaths due to US military actions, and 2.4 million emails from Syrian Politicians. A lot of classified information was published on Wikileaks and this makes US so interested in the case of Assange.

Why Assange is Important?
Assange is a master of cracking computer codes. He is the founder of the Wikileaks website launched in 2007 from Sweden – Sweden because it has a law protecting a person’s anonymity. It started making headlines across the world by whistleblowing the hidden actions of governments from across the world. He got much attention media after 2010 data leaks.

Where was Assange Till Nnow?
Assange spent 3 years living in France, i.e from 2007 to 2010.  Then he spent the next seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. He had been accused of rape in Sweden. Before his arrest, he had been evicted from Ecuadorian Embassy and later, in last April, he was caught in London.

What Does UK Court Say?
Assange is under court trials, where UK court in its statement said that there were occasions where Assange had tried to warn about the danger to the then state secretary Hillary Clinton in White House. The court also said that WikiLeaks had received classified documents from Manning in April 2010. But the legal team of Assange has asked the French government for asylum. UK doctors have stated that health of Assange is not to the mark for him to be in prison.

Curiopedia

Julian Assange – Julian Paul Assange is an Australian editor, publisher, and activist who founded Wikileaks in 2006. Wikileaks came to international attention in 2010 when it published a series of leaks provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. These leaks included the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and Cab-legate (November 2010). After the 2010 leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into Wikileaks. More Info

Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone Charged Guilty

Aide of Donald Trump, Roger Stone, was found guilty on seven charges in a case that provided a new dimension to Trump’s 2016 campaign matter. The Jury unanimously decided that Roger lied about WikiLeaks.

Crux of the Matter
  • Roger Stone, once a part of the President’s inner circle, was charged for lying, witness tampering, and obstructing the Congressional inquiry on the matter of Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections.
  • The jury considers Roger guilty of colluding with WikiLeaks for furnishing Russia-hacked emails of the Democrats to show Hilary Clinton in a bad light.
  • The Prosecution had challenged that Roger had lied to the Congress about the information of WikiLeaks delivered to New York radio host Randy Credico.
Curiopedia

The Mueller Report, officially titled Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, is the official report documenting the findings and conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 United States presidential election, allegations of conspiracy or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, and allegations of obstruction of justice. The investigation found there were over 100 contacts between Trump campaign advisors and individuals affiliated with the Russian government, before and after the election, but the evidence was insufficient to show an illegal conspiracy. The New York Times estimated as many as 140 contacts between “Mr. Trump and his associates and Russian nationals and WikiLeaks or their intermediaries” in the report. Read More